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Ad Gentes Mission – Davao Group 2010

09/07/2010: Philippines

On June 15 was launched in Davao, Philippines, the seventh training session for participants in the Marist Mission Ad Gentes Project. During the Mass, Father Lauro Acede, SM, gave the homily which we reproduce below.

In July 23, 1816, several newly ordained priests and seminarians committed themselves to work for the salvation of souls under the banner of Mary. This group called themselves Marists. This group grew into a huge family of men and women religious. Later, in 1836 some of them were sent by the church to evangelize the islands in the pacific and later they became present in other parts of the world. That event in Fourvière was like the apostles’ experience of the coming of the Holy Spirit. When they received the Holy Spirit, they were transformed into a bold and courageous preachers and witnesses of God’s love for his people.
Your coming together to be part of Ad Gentes program is a continual opening of the Word of God and an expression of a desire to experience a present day Pentecost. A desire to be transformed from being an ordinary person into becoming dedicated friends of the Lord who will tirelessly labor for the growth of God’s kingdom. As you spend several months in discernment for a future in the mission we are reminded again by the Lord of His presence. He is also giving us a guarantee of His Spirit’s gift. The Holy Spirit will transform us and move us with boldness and courage into mission.
May this time be also a time of continual conversion and equipping to faithfully respond to the challenges of our Gospel reading today, that is to love beyond what is expected. To love beyond because it is necessary
Like those first Marists who dedicated themselves to the work of the Lord and of Mary despite of persecution, difficulty and even death, may we be transformed by the spirit to love beyond what is asked of us. And courageously take up the mission He is about to give us.

Fr. Lauro Arcede, SM
Davao, 15th June 2010

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